Scottish energy services giant Wood has announced it is pulling out of the UK nuclear power industry. The Aberdeen-based firm has sold its nuclear business to US engineering firm Jacobs for £250m. Its nuclear business is focused on decommissioning work at the Sellafield site in Cumbria. Wood chief executive Robin Watson said the company was focussing more on areas like the move to renewables and the energy industry’s drive to cut carbon. The move comes amid debate about the cost of operating UK nuclear power, and dealing with the radioactive waste it produces. Mr Watson told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme “The nuclear business is one that we don’t see the same opportunities with as we do with other parts of our portfolio. Jacobs have got a global nuclear business of some scale that we’ve never had, so I think it’s just more strategically important to others than it is for us in terms of where it fits in our portfolio.” Meanwhile, Mr Watson said Wood was staying “fairly ahead of the curve” on the energy industry’s move away from traditional fossil fuels.
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Wood Group has agreed the sale of its nuclear business for £250 million. The energy company, which has its headquarters in Aberdeen, said the deal with US group Jacobs would allow it to deleverage, after taking on debt for its acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler two years ago. The nuclear arm of the company provides engineering design and maintenance for a few sites, almost all of them in the UK. Its projects include a £770 million contract with West Cumbria’s Sellafield site. In December, it won a $66m contract to provide programmable digital control technologies to the nuclear plant.
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